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Laura Ingraham's fake apology to David Hogg exposes deep Fox News cynicism

Ken Tucker
Critic-at-Large, Yahoo Entertainment
Laura Ingraham speaking at the Republican National Convention in summer 2016. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On Thursday, Laura Ingraham suddenly apologized for insulting and ridiculing school-shooting survivor David Hogg — but only after she began losing advertisers for her Fox News show and under the threat of losing more. The previous day, Ingraham felt not a twinge of decency when she tweeted an insult about Hogg getting rejections from a number of colleges, sneering that he was whining about it. In response, Hogg called for an advertiser boycott of The Ingraham Angle. By late afternoon, Nestle, Hulu, Wayfair, Johnson & Johnson, Expedia, and TripAdvisor, and others had yanked ads from her show.

Laura Ingraham could not act quickly enough to recant her previous contempt for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student and had the gall to dress her groveling in the cloak of religion. “On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland,” she said, and invited Hogg to appear on her show.

 

Ingraham’s comments attempting to humiliate and silence the Parkland, Fla., student aren’t unusual for her. She kicked off a different #resist movement recently when she told LeBron James to “shut up and dribble.” And hers are not the only offensive comments coming from Fox News personalities. The channel has run deeply cynical “news” segments suggesting that the Parkland students calling for more extensive gun control laws are “political pawns,” and on President Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox & Friends, co-host Pete Hegseth — recently in the running and rejected to head the Veterans Administration — heaped contempt: “They shouldn’t be giving me lessons on the Second Amendment — they should be in civics class.”

Ingraham was awfully quiet about her apology — or.indeed, the entire subject of gun control — on her Thursday show. The brazen insincerity of Ingraham’s apology — along with this abject demonstration that she was happy to completely contradict her supposedly tough, sincere disagreements with the March for Our Lives organizers, including Hogg — is indicative of what really goes on with Fox News personalities like Ingraham. They push and push and push the edge of what is indecent outrage, and when they go over the line and start being punished for it, they fold. Ingraham’s time-period competitor, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, did a segment on Ingraham on Thursday night, noting that “the only reason Ingraham has a job on Fox News” is because of the primetime schedule changes that needed to be made when Bill O’Reilly was kicked off the channel — and that O’Reilly had been losing advertisers over sexual-harassment charges. Ingraham faces a similar ad loss and was, O’Donnell speculated, “following her bosses’ orders [to apologize] to save her job.”

In declining to accept Ingraham’s apology, David Hogg tweeted, “I will only accept your apology only if you denounce the way your network has treated my friends and I in this fight.” I don’t think that’ll happen. But I also didn’t think this young man could send such fear into the corridors of Fox News, so … I guess anything’s possible.

The Ingraham Angle airs weeknights at 10 p.m. on Fox News.

Watch: Laura Ingraham roasted for using religion in apology to David Hogg

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